Thousands have a go at countryside sports at Ardingly


Over 15,000 people enjoyed the rare opportunity to have a go at countryside sports at the Autumn Show and Game Fair this weekend at the South of England Showground in Ardingly, West Sussex [1 & 2 October].

Terrier racing, clay pigeon shooting, fly fishing, falconry, scarecrow making, archery, gundog scurries and dog agility were all available for people to try out and the showground was alive with families enjoying the countryside with their dogs.

Iain Nicol, CEO of the South of England Agricultural Society, said, “We’ve had a fantastic weekend with many thousands of visitors and it’s been great to see so many families enjoying having a go at all the great country sports we have on offer here.”

People are encouraged to bring their dogs on a lead to this show and enjoy many activities including gundog training with Warrenby Gundogs, the Mid Downs Dog Agility course, terrier racing and the popular gundog scurry which is run by the British Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC).

First class main arena attractions on both days included Jonathan Marshall’s remarkable falconry on horseback display and the popular Dog and Duck show; on Saturday visitors watched the Kent & Surrey Bloodhounds take centre stage; and on Sunday the hounds from Crawley & Horsham hunt were on parade as well as competitors taking part in the popular Donkey Show.

There were a fantastic number of entries into the flower arranging and horticultural competitions organised by the BBC’s gardening expert Jean Griffin, celebrating Autumn Glory.

The winners of the Society’s Student Assignment Competition received their awards from President, Charles Moore at a prize-giving ceremony on the Sunday of the show, with winners from Plumpton, Hadlow and Chichester Colleges with special guests and VIPs marking this important part of the Society’s educational programme.

A great range of shopping, crafts and plenty of locally produced food and drink was on offer as well as game cookery demonstrations run by the BASC. A traditional pumpkin trail offers a gentle journey around the showground to include pit stops at the traditional vintage funfair; Punch and Judy show; a vintage vehicle display from the South Eastern Vintage Agricultural Club; and the rabbits, poultry and farm animals display.

Said Michelle Nudds, Chair of the Autumn Show & Game Fair Committee, “This show seems to grow in popularity every year offering seasonal food, family entertainment and a wide range of country pursuits which celebrates all the colours of the Autumn season.”



Credit South of England Agricultural Society for photographs:

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